back to article It's the Peer 2.0: Martha Lane Fox now a crossbench baroness

"Dotcom dinosaur" and Whitehall's digerati darling Martha Lane Fox CBE has been made a crossbench peer in the House of Lords. The freshly entitled Baroness of Soho*, who is the face of the Cabinet Office's "digital by default" agenda, naturally took to Twitter to announce the news. Her non-party political peerage followed …


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  1. Syed

    It's a good thing...

    ... her middle name isn't Iris (or some such) as her initials would be MILF!

    1. Smallbrainfield

      Re: It's a good thing...



  2. Atrophic Cerebrum

    "I don't think you can be a proper citizen in our society in the future if you're not online."

    I don't think you can have a proper society if it is all online.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      It shows what a pathetically self centered perspective on life she has, like many others on el reg I have grand parents and great grandparents who fought in ww1&2, who is the disrespectful little shit to say they aren't proper citizens if they don't use the internet? What has she contributed to society? A website for booking flights and a karaoke bar? Well excuse me! Somebody needs to use some silicone sealand on the lords chamber and leave the taps on.

      As for horrible council estates, I wonder if there are any stereotypes about her alma mater Oxford we could employ here?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @rampant spaniel

        While I do take your point, my 90+ year old father communicates with my almost equally elderly aunt in Australia (and with other relatives) entirely via the Internet, and uses it to research family history. She could have put it much more politely but I think the Germans are right - in 2013, Internet access should be a right not a privilege.

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: @rampant spaniel

          @Ribosome, you are correct, but I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. My grandfather never had any interest in the internet but my gran can skype with the best of them. I don't think there's anything stopping the elderly from surfing, but I think it's beyond the pale to suggest they are bad citizens if they don't. Some people just aren't interested in the internet and I cannot see any way that makes them any less of a decent person than anyone else. Now some halfwit who lucked out on an idea once milking the public purse and being given political power, that's not good.

          Just please tell me she hasn't bred!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @Rampant Spaniel

        Your post deserves a million upvotes, and I'm only able to offer you one. But well said.

        And to add, what f***ing use is the House of Lords anyway? Increasingly a grace and favour club composed of the mates of the prime minister of the day. I think I preferred hereditary peers to a collection of arrogant, ignorant numpties blessed by Tony the Traitor or Dave the Feckless.

        The "Lords" have consistently failed to have any point or purpose. As dishonest as the House of Commons when it comes to expenses (and with even fewer rules on what may be claimed), this bunch of parasites haven't ever held the Commons to account, or done anything useful.

        Sack them all.

    2. Steve Knox

      I don't think you can be a proper Peer without patronizingly partitioning the plebes from the proper people.

      1. Robert Helpmann??
        Thumb Up


        @Steve Knox, have a thumbs up for getting my Wednesday off to an alliterative start.

  3. Tom 7

    Sorry, her qualification is what?

    Successfully spotting and exploiting a very very small niche in the ecosystem* and MP's think you you are worthy of political power....

    *mind you that's a lot better than most of them have managed.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Sorry, her qualification is what?

      Her qualification is writing a manifesto that the government uses as justification for replacing the civil service with a website.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sorry, her qualification is what?

        And thinking that manifesto can be easily applied to local authorities. She's the usual twat spouting crap of the highest order from Westminster.

  4. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    soho ==

    the home of dumb ideas - are these people promoted out of the way so we can actually get on with things?

  5. TeeCee Gold badge


    Isn't that where all the other expensive tarts hang out too?

    Kudos is due to whoever dishes out titles for that one.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Soho.

      But is it Soho or SoHo ?

  6. Hollerith 1

    It's not really relevant, but...

    MLF personally is very courageous. She was in a bad accident some time ago and I don't think peoiple knew how badly she was injured. I happened to run into her (we are total strangers) in a medical setting and I couldn't believe she was alive, let alone (barely) walking. That kind of grim determination to be mobile again was impressive, so I hope her doggedness will be part of what she is bringing to the Lords, as well as a very rare hands-on experience in actual web stuff (in that House).

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: It's not really relevant, but...

      Unfortunately she also seems to be totally out of touch with reality and a pretentious cow. So right at home in the sleeping chamber then. Should give her honorary membership to the Tories.

    2. Mr Spock

      Re: It's not really relevant, but...

      Well I had really bad diarrhoea last week. On that basis that's got to be worth an MBE at least.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not really relevant, but...

        > Well I had really bad diarrhoea last week. On that basis that's got to be worth an MBE at least.

        Bit of a come-down after a week on the throne, no?

    3. Smallbrainfield

      Re: It's not really relevant, but...

      You ran into her after her accident?

      Poor woman, some people just can't catch a break.

    4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: It's not really relevant, but...

      She got smashed up in a single-vehicle car accident while barrelling across the Moroccan desert on holiday. Is that supposed to somehow make her more connected with the little people?

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: It's not really relevant, but...

        Let's hope they don't sit her next to Mark Thatcher. Even if they could manage to make it back from lunch uninjured and without requiring the might of the entire Algerian Military to find them I shudder at what they would come up given his history of booking flights, ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    digital by default?

    the last thing such a concentration of incompetence and corruption that is central government should be 'by default' is digital.

    keep that shit away from my internetz.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Mark McNeill

    Off to a flying start

    I'm a great fan of her dad [a Classical historian who likes Alexander the Great and hates garden gnomes], but confessing that she shouldn't have publicly announced her title in advance and saying it was "just tweet to old school friend" does rather imply that she doesn't quite grasp the whole Internet thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Off to a flying start

      i wonder what her excuse is? she can't claim to be one of the 7 million who haven't used the internet.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Off to a flying start

        If she really wanted to keep it secret, she'd have announced it on

  10. Zog The Undeniable

    Selling remaindered goods and services to less affluent people* is her biggest achievement, and therefore an excellent metaphor for Britain.

    *I have bought a couple of holidays off, no complaints

  11. Joe Harrison

    Her dad is a laugh

    Robin Lane Fox used to write a column in the FT and in it he was spouting in all seriousness about a mysterious American internet guru named Batson D. Sealing. The next week his piece started with "Er, my daughter has explained to me that..."

    1. Mark McNeill
      IT Angle

      Re: Her dad is a laugh

      I like that he acted as a historical consultant on Oliver Stone's overblown film "Alexander", on condition that he was allowed to take part in the cavalry charges.

      1. dogged

        Re: Her dad is a laugh

        This implies that at least one person enjoyed Alexander, which is a hell of a lot more than I was expecting.

    2. ducatis'r us

      Re: Her dad is a laugh

      Actually this happened in 1991 and Batson D Sealing was an Egyptologist rather than an internet guru.

      (departs with coat under a hail of stones with the crowd yelling 'Pedant! pedant!')

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peer to peer networking

    With all the revelations coming out about the Upper House, not something one would surely want to advertise?

  13. Tapeador

    "...the Tory-led coalition's agenda to get more of the population online so as it can deliver many more public services over the internet rather than deal with people face-to-face."

    The cynicism of this take is shortsighted. Why should people not be encouraged to use online services where possible in a way which allows savings to be made to pay for needed services such as care?

    "It's argued that the government's pursuit to change those web usage stats is a vanity exercise for poshos bent on helping those who live on what MLF once described as "horrible council estates"."

    What's been said here is that people determined to help the poor are doing so out of vanity (not altruism, no!) and that they're posh and therefore somehow their efforts are less valid. The implication of this argument seems to be that those 'poshos' should fuck off and work in the city fucking the poor over instead of helping them, because they're going to get no thanks for the latter. This is a disgusting and infantile argument.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Er no, it's that people who say they want to help people rather undermine their credibility when they refer to the people they want to help as bad citizens living on horrible council estates. It's nothing to do with 'poshos' in general and very much to do with one specific halfwit proving to the entire world she believes herself to be superior to other people because she went to a 'proper school' and lucked out on being born into a relatively affluent family.

  14. Rukario

    Baroness Dotcom?

    Did anyone else read this and get an image of NZ's rotund resident?

    1. Ben Holmes

      Re: Baroness Dotcom? a dress.

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